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Mr. WYATT. And the principals involved were Mexicans?
Mr. GLEASON. Yes.
Mr. WYATT. All of them?

Mr. GLEASON. I don't know. I believe the principals were. However, in the Miami case, some of the principals were Panamanians, and many of them were Americans.

Mr. WYATT. Has there been any kind of connection between that and the Brownsville situation?

Mr. GLEASON. I don't have enough information to state that to be true.

Mr. WYATT. Do you have any idea where the machineguns were going?

Mr. GLEASON. It is my understanding that they were going to Latin America.

Mr. WYATT. Just to Latin America?

Mr. GLEASON. That is correct, and that they left on Panamanian freighter.

Mr. WYATT. Where was the first stop?
Mr. GLEASON. I have no idea.
Mr. WYATT. It had to have a first destination.
Mr. GLEASON. It sure did.
Mr. WYATT. And the guns were intercepted on this ship?

Mr. GLEASON. No, unfortunately-I gather the ship left port, and the guns themselves have never been retrieved in that case.

Mr. WYATT. They were removed from this country?
Mr. GLEASON. Yes, they are out of the country. They are gone.
Mr. Wyatt. And removed on a ship bearing a Panamanian flag?
Mr. GLEASON. That is my understanding, sir.

Mr. WYATT. There has been no attempt to determine where that ship stopped?

Mr. GLEASON. I am sure there were attempts made. I am confident there were attempts made by the Government. Customs or ATF, or somebody, may know. I don't know.

Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you, Congressman Wyatt.
Mr. Bauman?
Mr. BAUMAN. No questions.
Mr. HUBBARD. Mr. Larry O'Brien, our counsel.

Mr. O'BRIEN. In addition to this Panamanian freighter, were there other modes of transport for weapons out of the United States? Specifically, were these weapons transported by air?

Mr. GLEASON. Air Panama, it has been established that Air Panama-I don't know how much-but I guess certainly thousands of them flown from Miami without permits on Air Panama.

One of the principals involved, Antonio Alvarez, as the air freight officer for Air Panama, and he routinely loaded them on the plane and dropped them off in Panama.

Mr. O'BRIEN. It is my understanding-correct me if I am wrong-Air Panama is 70 percent owned by Banco Nina.

Mr. GLEASON. That is correct.

Mr. O'BRIEN. And I understand there are 30-percent shareholders, two citizens of Panama and five U.S. citizens.

Mr. GLEASON. That is correct.
Mr. O'BRIEN. One of the four was assassinated inside Panama?

Mr. GLEASON. Yes. I understand there was a meeting in Panama that had to do with the ownership of Air Panama. In the meeting there subject was called out to take a phone call, and when taking it, was shot in the head.

Mr. O'BRIEN. With respect to Mr. Crankshaw, did you interview him?

Mr. GLEASON. Yes.

Mr. O'BRIEN. Did he provide you with additional background information you have not provided us with?

Mr. GLEASON. There is a great deal of material in some of these stories, which I believe ought to be submitted for the record.

Mr. O'BRIEN. Could you summarize that for the record? These articles are in print?

Mr. GLEASON. Yes.

Mr. Crankshaw's experience in these matters as a reporter with some considerable experience and he has military experience.

He said ome clerks had been caught sneaking out guns concealed in refrigerators, air conditioners, boxes, automobile transmissions, and rubber gloves. It is like a sieve, in his words.

He was also very complimentary to the Federal agent involved with people with the experience in the enforcement of the gun laws, and particularly knowing they have limited resources. And the problem is similar to the one with narcotics.

We have a wide open border. If the same is true where firearms are concerned, if the situation is the same with firearms as it is with narcotics—and I believe it is—they don't catch any more than 10 percent of what is now being smuggled out.

Mr. O'BRIEN. Did you have occasion to learn anything about the operations of Garcia National Gun Shop in Miami?

Mr. GLEASON. Yes, the Garcia Gun Shop, I did not get a chance to visit that myself. It is in a place called Little Cuba, and I understand that it was during examination of the records, a routine examination of the records of the Garcia Gun Shop, and the Tamiami Gun Shop, and others, by Federal agents, that they noticed a large number of handguns, and ammunition being sold to individuals. Unusually large amounts, 50,000 rounds. That is how the investigation began.

The same is true where long guns are concerned, which are not nearly as strictly watched. They went to check the same places, and long guns were going to the same two individuals.

I do not know from the comments that have been made by the people at Garcia Gun Shop, they are cooperating with the Government, it would suggest to me that their records were somewhat less than complete when examined. Not all of the records required under the 1968 gun control law were being kept, or were not being kept accurately.

I have talked to a former salesman from the Garcia Gun Shop, he is a licensed gun dealer, a Federal licensee, and apparently experienced these things, and he observed some of these large sales being made, raised some questions about them, and was detailed to a clerk's job. When he asked further questions about them, he was dismissed.

However, he was there, and was present in the shop when a number of these transactions involving Pujol, however it is pro

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nounced, Alvarez and Lopez were present. He actually witnessed a number of the sales.

Mr. O'BRIEN. One final question. It is my understanding that your investigation is continuing, that you contemplate demonstrating possibly at tomorrow's hearing that Mr. Edgardo Lopez, who we established was the counsel from Miami, and Panama, may have been a recipient of funds disbursed from U. S. Federal agencies?

Mr. GLEASON. That is my understanding. Hopefully we will be able to say something about that tomorrow.

Mr. O'BRIEN. Thank you.
I have no further questions.

Mr. HUBBARD. Any other questions, from any member of the subcommittee, or visiting Congressmen?

Thank you, Mr. Gleason.
Mr. GLEASON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUBBARD. Thank you again for your testimony.

While we are waiting on any members to testify, we will repeat that Ambassador Carlos Lopez-Guevara, Ambassador from Panama to the United States, was invited by Chairman John Murphy, chairman of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, to testify before our subcommittee hearings, either today or tomorrow, but the Ambassador called to inform the chief of staff of our Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, namely Carl Perian, to my right, Mr. Lopez-Guevara informed Mr. Perian this morning that he would not be testifying, "because there has been too much misinformation spread abroad on this issue.”

Once again, the chairman of this subcommittee would invite Mr. Carlos Lopez-Guevara to come before us today or tomorrow to clear up that misinformation to which he refers. We would be delighted to have him testify, but regret that he has made the decision not to appear. Is Mr. George Hansen-the Congressman from Idaho-here? ОК.

Congressman Hansen is attending to an amendment on the House floor. He does want to testify before this House subcommittee, and he can do that tomorrow.

If there is no other business to come before us on this day, we will adjourn today and reconvene tomorrow, Thursday, June 7, at 10 a.m., in this same committee room.

Thank you.

[Whereupon, at 3:37 p.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Thursday, June 7, 1979.]

PANAMA GUNRUNNING

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 1979

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

SUBCOMMITTEE ON PANAMA CANAL,
COMMITTEE ON MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,

Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10:12 a.m., in room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Carroll Hubbard, Jr., chairman of the subcommittee, presiding.

Present: Representatives Hubbard, Studds, Bowen, Hughes, Bonior, Lowry, Bauman, Dornan, Carney and Evans of the Virgin Islands.

Staff present: Carl Perian, chief of staff; Penny Perian, administrator; Larry O'Brien, chief counsel; Terry Modglin, counsel, Subcommittee on Panama Canal; Ken Merin, minority counsel, Subcommittee on Panama Canal; Kai Midboe, minority counsel; Taddy McAllister, clerk, Subcommittee on Panama Canal; Molly Dominick, secretary, Subcommittee on Panama Canal; Michael Smith, staff, Subcommittee on Panama Canal; Ken Fendley, staff, Subcommittee on Panama Canal; Jean Fling, secretary to chief of staff; Marvadell Zeeb, secretary to counsel; Susan Baffa, press secretary; and Paris Russell, staff.

Mr. HUBBARD. The Subcommittee on the Panama Canal of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries is now called to order.

Fellow committee members, distinguished witnesses, and visitors, we are reconvening this hearing today after nearly 6 hours of intensively interesting and revealing statements by authoritative witnesses yesterday.

Again, let me assure you that I am prepared to let the evidence we examine this second day speak for itself. We have before us now another catalog of indepth findings that we want to use for our oversight benefit.

In review, this issue we are concerned with is the alleged covert dealing in arms by the Panamanian Government. This weaponry has been appropriated for use by revolutionaries in Latin America. Our interest has been principally centered in Nicaragua.

A résumé of findings that surfaced yesterday include these particulars:

One, indictments and affidavits have been filed indicating that there is probable cause to believe that a gun smuggling conspiracy involving Panamanian nationals may exist.

Two, erstwhile Panamanian Consul, Edgardo Lopez, appears to have been a principal participant in the conspiracy. He, according to our best information, has disappeared from the United States.

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